The Real Reason the Cloud Is Winning

Cloud computing is winning not because it solves problems better than on-premise solutions. It’s winning because the cloud empowers businesses to iterate the right solutions to these problems faster than ever.

Get Started

The Real Reason the Cloud Is Winning

The battle between cloud services and on-premises applications is over. According to analysts at IDC, half of all IT spending will be cloud based by 2018.

By 2020, a corporate "no-cloud" policy will be as rare as a "no-internet" policy is today. Cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years. Today, most provider technology innovation is cloud-centric, with the stated intent of retrofitting the technology to on-premises, according to Gartner, Inc.

The cloud has proven itself capable of securely handling trillions of transactions a month. It has delivered increased flexibility to businesses that want the functionality of sophisticated software applications without large upfront investments in infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs. It has shown that it can scale to meet the needs of businesses of any size—the corner bakery now runs its business on one of the world’s largest supercomputers thanks to Amazon Web Services. In many cases, the cloud has also turned out to be the more economical choice, especially when the total cost of ownership of an application and its infrastructure is factored in.

But that's not the real reason the cloud is winning. Companies are turning to the cloud because the cloud makes it possible for them to create value for their customers and investors faster than ever before. They are building applications in weeks instead of months, and launching new companies in months instead of years.

The secret behind all this speed is technology’s equivalent of Legos. These are services that exist in the cloud that you can snap together, so you don’t have to rebuild the wheels and crank shafts and carburetors behind every business.

Twilio image1

Businesses that use these building blocks can solve problems before their competitors with traditional enterprise installations even identify any problems. With these blocks, businesses create connections between the cloud and the billions of sensors and actuators that power everyday devices like the phone in your pocket. The result: compelling new user experiences that have accelerated what nimble software companies can accomplish, even in markets entrenched by goliath brands.

Twilio p2

The status quo has been challenged not just by cloud technology, but also by those who recognize its potential—software people. Software people aren’t just developers. They are anyone who sees the world through a lens of software. They are anyone who looks at the world, sees a problem, and asks how software can solve this problem. It's not just a skill set, it's a mindset, and the cloud is a key assumption. In fact, today a lot of companies are considered software companies, irrespective of how they got started or what they sell.

Twilio p3

Software people are also using the cloud to change the definition of what’s possible inside traditional enterprises. They are rolling out everything from new security services to new call centers that are more flexible and cost less than their on-premises equivalents.

For example, Intuit prototyped a two-factor authentication solution for its payroll services in just an afternoon before putting it in place to protect the accounts of more than one million small businesses. Instead of distributing hardware tokens, Intuit sends verification codes via voice or SMS to its customers’ phones. The messages cost just a penny apiece—far less than the cost of managing an equivalent on-premises solution and a tiny fraction of the millions of dollars a similar system would have cost to deploy.

App by app, the cloud is taking over the $1.8 trillion market for IT. Instance by instance, it’s virtualizing the server market. API by API it’s replacing huge enterprise installations with cooperative services. Software people were the first to realize this, and as a result they are pulling ahead of nearly everyone else.

Thanks to the cloud, software people are changing the world. Isn’t it time you joined them?